Blog, Body Armor

Everyday Armor | Bulletproof Vests For Civilians

While law enforcement and military personnel are our frontlines for combat, our emergency services and civilians need protection as well for a wide range of occupations.  With rising civil unrest in the world, various industry workers including mail carriers, teachers, bank clerks, church leaders, jewelry store clerks, convenience store clerks, and private security personnel need additional protection.  

Civilian Bulletproof Protection

A major key to civilian bulletproof protection is being covert.  If a potential attacker can see that an individual is wearing a vest, they will aim for something that isn’t protected.  That’s where concealable bulletproof vests have the advantage.  They are more easily worn under your everyday apparel without attention drawn to the fact that body armor is being worn. 

Keys To Civilian Ballistic Protection

If you want to be protected as you work each day, there are some factors you should consider.  Whatever vest you buy should be comfortable, compliment your occupation and be concealable.  Citizen Armor proudly offers the V-Shield concealable bulletproof vest.

  • Reliable – Your vest is meant to protect your life.  You should demand a vest that can do the job.  Not all vests can take multiple hits. One of our vests has taken 113 hits, and still no penetration.
  • Concealable – It’s best if you are wearing a concealable bulletproof vest.  It makes it so attackers do not know to aim for more vulnerable areas.
  • Lightweight – Noone wants to add too much additional weight to their everyday work attire.  That’s another advantage to Citizen Armor vests which are 66% lighter.
  • Flexible – All jobs require some mobility.  Your vest should be a soft body armor option that allows for a full range of motion.
  • Sweat-wicking – Quality vests feature sweat-wicking materials that help keep you cool and dry.
  • Odor control – The best vests also are made from materials that do not hold onto body odor.  This means that you don’t need to worry about your presentation.
  • Durable – As an everyday part of your attire, your vest should be durable.  It isn’t something you only wear occasionally, so it needs to last.
  • Comfortable – Your vest needs to be something you don’t mind wearing every day.  The size and fit should compliment your body.  Citizen armor offers various sizes and fabricates women’s bulletproof vests that are designed to fit the female form. 

Civilian Armor Applications

Any civilian is legally allowed to own and wear body armor, with the exception of convicted felons.  There are certain occupations that do tend to experience higher rates of assaults and should be protected by quality bulletproof vests.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics has stated that over 80% of all workplace homicides involve firearms. 

EMS Personnel

The CDC has stated that there are approximately 2,000 EMS professionals injured each year by violent assaults.  In fact, EMS personnel experience lost workdays due to violence 22 times more than the national average.  

Health Care

A staggering 75% of all assaults happen to workers in the healthcare industry.  While this includes EMS personnel, they are not the only professionals at risk.  Staff in emergency rooms, hospitals, and private care facilities are prone to higher rates of assaults. This statistic also covers mental health workers who are attacked on average about 1,700 times per year. 

Mail Carriers

Mail carriers have more to worry about than slipping on ice, dog bites, and sunburn.  The USPS has stated that in 2019 their Postal Inspectors investigated 576 reported threats and assaults against postal workers.  

Banks & Financial Institutions

From commercial banks and credit unions to armored carriers those that handle money are at risk for assault.  In 2018 the FBI has stated that there were 3,033 crimes committed in these types of work environments.  

Uber, Lyft & Taxi Drivers

According to research performed by the US Department of Justice 184 out of 1,000 taxi drivers were victims of violence during a 5-year study of the most dangerous occupations.  Picking up strangers for a living while alone in a car is, by no surprise, the 3rd most dangerous occupation.

Gas Station Attendants

Over 3,000 gas station attendants are attacked each year.  This is the reason their booths are typically made from bulletproof building materials.  Such as ballistic glass and wall panels.

Jewelry, Liquor, & Convenience Store Clerks

Unfortunately, the Simpsons tell an all too true tale of convenience store assaults and robberies.  Well over 12,000 clerks are the victims of assault each year.  

Bartenders & Bouncers

In the same study performed by the US Department of Justice, it was found that over 5,000 bartenders had been the victims of a violent assault per year.  

Teachers

From elementary and high school teachers to college instructors and special education teachers, there is risk.  Thousands of teachers are attacked each year.  This is most common for junior high, special education, and high school teachers.  

Conclusion

No matter what occupation you’re in, violence can happen.  Lightweight yet quality bulletproof vests are an easy and affordable way to provide yourself, your family, and even your employees the peace of mind they deserve.   

Citizen Armor proudly offers the highest quality bulletproof vests available.  We license our ballistic vest technology from the military armor manufacturer ATEK Defense Systems. This allows us to use the higher performance technology of Protek graphene armor.  This means you have the same NIJ Level 3A protection, with less than half the weight!  Browse our body armor lineup today.

Armor Technology, Blog

What is Backface Signature (BFS) & Blunt Force Trauma?

Backface signature is the amount of deformation, or damage, created on the backside of a piece of armor after an impact.  The amount of backface signature is defined by the quality of your armor, along with the speed, velocity, weight, and caliber of the projectile.  The more backface signature a piece of armor allows, the greater the damage and injuries the wearer will sustain. In addition to quality armor, backface signature can be minimized by the addition of trauma pads.

NIJ Standards For Backface Signature

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the organization that sets the standards for body armor. The limit of deformation allowed by the NIJ is 1.73 inches (44mm) in depth for body armor.  All vests are required to be tested against materials that mimic the human body.  Once the test has been completed, the vest is removed to allow measurements of the deformation.  To accurately measure the depth of impact, any ridges created by impact are scraped to be flush with the surface of the ballistic testing material.  Then a caliper is used to accurately measure the depth of the impact. If the depth of the impact exceeds 1.73 inches (44mm), the armor fails the ballistic testing. Citizen Armor has consistently outperformed other soft body armor with a 20% decrease from the NIJ allowed standards, resulting in a significant reduction to possible back face signature.

How To Reduce Backface Signature

With up to 1.73 inches allowed for backface signature, you can imagine the potential for injury even when a bullet is stopped.  Projectiles traveling at hundreds of feet per second are still going to cause some damage.  It is common for individuals who have been shot wearing body armor to have significant bruising, burn marks, and sometimes broken bones.  Burn marks are typically from heat associated with the stopping and deformation of the projectile.

To reduce backface signature and injury, wearers of body armor can include trauma pads.  Trauma pads act as a buffer between the bulletproof vest and the wearer’s body.  They help reduce the amount of backface signature, along with absorbing some of the energy from the projectile, instead of the wearer’s body.  With many sizes available, you can reduce BFS on the front, back, and even sides if your armor carrier contains storage compartments for additional plates and pads.  

What is Blunt Force Trauma?

Blunt force trauma is the result of an impact that does not involve penetration.  It is one of the most common causes of death, according to forensic pathologists. For example, most deaths associated with traffic collisions are the result of blunt force trauma.  More relevant to the subject matter in this post are injuries to frontline professionals such as law enforcement officers, military personnel, and those in combat situations.  When the body is hit by a solid object such as a foot, fist, elbow, knee, or crowbar it can cause blunt force trauma.  

When it comes to body armor, the severity of these types of injuries depends on the projectile, quality of the body armor, and if there are trauma pads present.  The severity of injuries can range from a minor small bruise to rapid internal bleeding, ruptured organs, and even death.

Armor Technology, Blog

The Science of Graphene

Graphene is a material that is getting a lot of attention.  People are asking what is graphene, how can it be used, and what does it cost?  The purpose of this post is to discuss graphene in greater detail and provide answers to those questions.

What is graphene?

Graphene is a layer of carbon atoms that is one atom thick.  The atoms are arranged in a hexagonal pattern called a lattice.  You probably remember your #2 pencils having graphite in them.  It is an amazingly versatile substance.  Some even call it a wonder material with its seemingly never-ending list of properties and uses.

What is graphene used for?

As graphene is such a versatile material and has the ability to be combined with metal and gases, the applications are limitless.  There are scientists worldwide looking into what they can do with graphene.  Some common areas of research and application include antennas, batteries, body armor, computer chips, DNA sequencing, energy generation, solar cells, supercapacitors, touchscreens, transistors, and water filters.

Can graphene stop a bullet?

Yes, indeed it can!  Citizen Armor bulletproof vests function on this fact.  Our armor is designed to be a soft body armor option that benefits from graphene microfiber.  Layers of graphene sheets are positioned to provide NIJ Level 3A ballistic protection.  That means they can stop up to a .44 magnum.  While other types of armor can do the same, they weigh more and often cannot take multiple impacts.  One of our Citizen Armor vests, featuring our Protek graphene armor, has taken 113 bullets without penetration.  Check it out!

Is graphene stronger than a diamond?

Yes, it is.  Graphene is currently the strongest material that’s been discovered by science.  The atoms are so tightly bonded that it is stronger than diamond and 200 times stronger than steel.  Despite being that strong, graphene is also flexible and stretchable.  

Why is graphene not used?

There are applications where graphene would work, but due to its cost, it is not feasible. As technology advances in the production of high quality one atom thick layers of graphene, the costs will likely go down, and it will be used for a much wider range of applications. 

Graphene Price

One thing to keep in mind is that the quality of graphene affects the price.  Graphene oxide, which is easier to produce, is sold in a solution for about $120 USD for 250 mL.  According to Investor Intel, graphene sells for between $100 and $200 per gram.  

Citizen Armor offers body armor products featuring graphene starting at $99 dollars for a 7×10 inch bulletproof backpack insert.  For school or the office, we offer graphene armored bulletproof binders starting at $249.  Our bulletproof vests start at $599 for a fully concealable vest.

How To Make Graphene

Graphene can come in two forms, sheets and flakes.  Graphene sheets are more difficult to make, but they do lend themselves to higher-end fabrication processes.  The flakes by contrast are less costly to produce and are often used in electronics and sports equipment.  

Graphene sheets are produced via a chemical vapor deposition process.  This is achieved by combining gas molecules in a reaction chamber at room temperature.  The gas leaves deposits on a substrate and after the gases are removed from the chamber it leaves a sheet of graphene. 

Graphene flakes, by contrast, are much more simple to produce. Methane, which is rich in carbon, reacts with copper to produce graphene at high temperatures.  The copper is heated to 1,000 degrees Celsius and is then exposed to methane.  Graphene will form on the copper as a result of the heat.  

Graphene Properties

At one atom thick, graphene is the thinnest material that has been discovered by man.  It is 200 times stronger than steel.  In addition to being thin and strong, it is an excellent conductor of electricity and heat, along with fascinating light absorption properties. 

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Vehicle Armor For Security Vehicles

Armored security vehicles are the backbone of many different types of companies.  Banks have used them for decades to transport cash and coin between businesses and their security storage locations.  

Citizen Armor offers vehicle armor for security vehicles.  These vehicles can be for both patrol and secured transport.  With more and more businesses having to transport sensitive cargo, an armored security van is the best option.

Armored Security Vehicle Benefits

Our armored security vehicles give your business the security and anonymity they need.  We specialize in providing ballistic protection that doesn’t require any expensive suspension modifications.  Our armor weighs a fraction of the competition while providing the same protection.  We also provide custom security electronics that tie into control centers to monitor your vehicles and personnel.  From body worn cameras to biometric locks and ignition systems, our goal is to provide you with world class armored vehicles. 

Covert Valuable Good Transport

Big box trucks have been the standard for many years, but they also are very recognizable.  Having a van that’s armored is a more covert way of delivering or picking up valuable cargo, without generating a lot of attention.  

6 Sided Armored Ballistic Protection

Our vehicle armor for security vehicles protects personnel and cargo from attacks in 6 primary areas.  These are the front, rear, floor, sidewalls, doors, and roof.  Our armored security vans are equipped with NIJ Level IIIA or IIIA+ armor for doors, walls, and columns with optional ballistic protection for headrests and visors.  

The glass for our armored vans is applied with little to no modifications to the doors and still allows the windows to function in the door.  Our armored shield glass is NIJ Level IIA / UL752 Level I and our windshield insert is NIJ Level II / UL752 Level I.  Any window that is not treated with ballistic glass has our Smash and Grab™ security film for comprehensive window protection.  

Built In Safes & Storage

Our armored van cargo areas can be customized with built in safes, high strength metal shelving, secret compartments, lockable compartments, and more.  No matter what your transport needs are, we have the ability to meet them. 

Vehicle Surveillance & Security Electronics

A big part of ensuring the safety of your personnel and cargo is having quality surveillance and security systems.  Citizen Armor is proud to offer a wide range of options for armored vans.  We offer 360 degrees of surveillance with AHD cameras, waterproof night vision exterior cameras, body worn cameras for personnel, and more.  We outfit our armored vans to be secure from break ins and theft and have remote kill switches if a vehicle needs to be recovered.

A primary feature of our vans is biometric secured ignition and door locks.  This high tech security measure among others offer peace of mind for not only those transporting but for business owners as well.  Other security features can include strobe lights, hidden mag locks, alarm with remote call, routers, proximity sensors, redundant locks, extra batteries, and more.  If you can dream it, we can fabricate and install it. 

Armored Security Van Applications

Our armored security vans can be used for a wide variety of secured transport roles.  Whether it is cash in transit, controlled substance transportation, or any other sort of valuable goods.  We provide the safety and security you need with the covert plain van appearance.  It’s best to avoid armed conflicts, but with our bulletproof vans, your valuables and personnel will be well protected. 

Blog, Body Armor

Female Body Armor | Engineered For Form Following Function

Through the past few decades as women have increasingly joined the armed forces and law enforcement, the need for body armor made for females has also increased.  USA Today reported that all branches of the military are seeing an increase in female soldiers.  Most notably is the US Air Force, with 21% of its members being female.  Even outside of the armed forces, more and more consumers are interested in female body armor for civilians. Due in large part to the general perception of civil unrest mixed with recent conditions of quarantine and competition for supplies.

Primary Differences in Female Body Armor

Weight

One of the most important differences between male and female body armor is weight.  Older bulletproof vests are made from heavier materials and simply weigh more.  Efforts have been made to reduce weight for both males and female bulletproof vests.  This helps reduce fatigue while improving mobility.

Size

One of the primary issues with body armor for females has been size.  Statistically women are smaller than men, and vests made for males are generally too large for females.  When vests are too large they can put pressure on the rest of the gear a soldier is wearing.  This can push equipment belts and sidearm holsters into their bodies.  When soldiers are distracted by their gear they are less effective in whichever role they are fulfilling.

Coverage

Some body armor manufacturers have chosen to accommodate the female form by cutting back on coverage.  A well known armor company has a “swimmer’s cut” option which does provide some protection for vital organs.  

Citizen Armor provides the same coverage for female body armor as we do with options for males.  Our lightweight soft body armor materials allow for better custom fitted female body armor without sacrificing coverage to provide a more comfortable fit. 

Shoulder Cutouts

Shoulder cutouts are areas of the vest that are made smaller for female vests.  This is especially relevant when discussing using firearms while wearing the body armor.  The correct position to fire most rifles is fairly specific in the shoulder area.  To be anchored correctly and shoot accurately, body armor for females had to be designed to ensure that this area is clear.  This advancement in body armor allows females to position the butt of rifles property to reduce trauma while operating a firearm.

Shape

There are certain obvious biological differences between men and women.  Female body armor is designed and fabricated to be more form fitting while still fulfilling its function.  This means that the waist area is more fitted and contoured to the shape of the female form  in addition to improved accommodations for larger chests.  Body armor manufacturers accomplish this by using a technique called darting.  Darting is the use of overlapping fabric to create angles which can provide a more fitted design, specifically around the breast area. This ensures a closer fit of ballistic materials to ensure increased comfort and protection.   

How Many Armor Companies Offer Female Bulletproof Vests?

Outside of those who supply the military with bulletproof vests,  civilians have a number of sources for female body armor.  Most of these options are from body armor companies that produce vests with older technologies which are cumbersome, heavy and ill fitted for females.  

Citizen Armor  has proudly designed and manufactured two female body armor options.  These are the V-Shield Ultra Conceal Female Vest and the Civvy Covert Female Vest

Each of these vests are available in smaller form fitting sizes specifically designed for women.  They are both concealable and Level 3A NIJ tested.  Not only are they designed for protection, but also boast all day comfort for female wearers.  The fabrics used in our vests are selected for comfort and their moisture wicking and durable characteristics. In addition, our female vests have a starting weight of only 2.2 lbs for vital protection and only 3 lbs for full armor coverage.  We pride ourselves in designing for the modern age using cutting edge technology, to provide effective armor solutions for both men and women.

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8 Best Civilian Tactical Training Courses

8 Best Civilian Tactical Training Courses

The purpose of civilian tactical training courses are to teach civilians how to prepare for dangerous situations.  Tactical training courses are hosted by professional-grade specialists.  Core tactical subjects include hand to hand combat, close quarter combat, and weapon proficiency. The skills needed to defend oneself include basic safety for handling weapons, how to fire them, and how to resolve weapon malfunctions such as jamming.

8 Best Civilian Tactical Training Courses

Civilian tactical training takes the same shape as some military training courses.  It ranges from the basics of handling firearms to advanced close quarter combat techniques, advanced driving, physical conditioning, and mental toughness.   These are the leading tactical training courses available to civilians.  

1. Ronin Tactics

Ronin Tactics offers tactical training to law-abiding civilians.  The skills they teach help regular men and women to better defend themselves and their families.  Skills include both defensive and offensive lethal techniques.   Courses are available for teams, groups, and corporations.  Specific courses center around pistols, carbine rifles, shotguns, a precision gun course and edge weapons (knives).

2. Green Eye Tactical

Green Eye Tactical was founded by Eric Dorenbush, a former U.S. Special Operations Operator.  With his extensive combat experience, Eric has adapted his modern and combat proven techniques into tactical training courses available to both law enforcement, military, and civilians.  Courses teach tactical skills for pistols, rifles, and close quarter combat.  In addition, Green Eye Tactical offers courses in marksmanship, concealed carry tactics, land navigation fundamentals, vehicle tactics, and small unit tactics.  

3. Tactical Response

Led by James Yeager, Tactical Response offers a wide range of courses for civilian tactical training.  Founded in 1996, the sole purpose of their organization is to provide the highest end firearm and tactical training to law-abiding civilians.  Course offerings include: active shooter, advanced fighting pistol, advanced fighting rifle, advanced fighting shotgun, immediate action medical, and many more.

4. SIG Sauer Academy

SIG Sauer has been a major firearm manufacturer since their formation in 1976.  Since 1990, the SIG Sauer Academy has offered advanced training courses that cover trauma management, team building, bullets and vehicles, low light pistol, and more.  With over 140 acres in New Hampshire, their indoor and outdoor facility offers over 110 courses to both professional operators and civilians.  

5. 360 Tactical Training

Based out of Houston, Texas, 360 Tactical Training is devoted to firearm and tactical training at the highest level for both pros and civilians alike.  Their focus is teaching reality based skills which work with our natural reactions to stress in a fight.  Civilian tactical training courses include: pistol training, rifle training, shotgun training, carbine rifle training, AK-47 training, livefire civilian response to active shooters, close quarters carbine, and more.

6. Solutions Group International

The SGI tactical training course for civilians offers a variety of tactical skills.  They offer these courses to the general public and are taught by the same instructors who train military and law enforcement operatives.  Their tactical training courses are designed to teach the fundamentals of combat marksmanship and improve overall chances of survival in a violent encounter.  Courses include hand to hand combat, pistol, rifle, shotgun, advanced vehicle evasive response, trauma care, and much more.

7. Team O’Neil Rally School

Tactical skills for civilians don’t end at knowing how to handle firearms, they extend to tactical driving as well.  While the courses focus on rally driving, the concepts of high speed maneuvers translate into useful skills.  Their government courses are restricted to Department of Defense members, but you’re hard pressed to find a better group of instructors to learn advanced driving skills from.

8. GoRuck

In addition to firearms and driving, tactical skills should include physical fitness and mental toughness.  The GoRuck Challenge has become an event that gathers those that are serious about survival.  With both 2 day and 3 day events you’ll be able to immerse yourself in mountaineering, first-aid and survival.   A major cornerstone to survive is your ability to move quickly and evade in an active shooter situation.  

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“The Sound of Freedom”

Citizen Armor is proud to help eradicate child trafficking by being Freedom Fighters with the Child Liberation Foundation . The Sound of Freedom movie is a pivotal step forward in ending the suffering of children all over the world.

“The Sound of Freedom” is the real life story of people fighting child trafficking.  According to the Child Liberation Foundation, “The Sound of Freedom” It tells the tale of brave individuals who fight to eradicate child trafficking.  As much as “The Sound of Freedom” is a thrilling movie it also helps raise awareness of human trafficking issues.  The movie is scheduled to be released in 2020 and is aimed to do more than simply entertain, but help change the world.

How Does “The Sound of Freedom” Change the World?

“The Sound of Freedom” is set to help change the world, how might you ask?  In today’s world we need reminders of issues.  We have days dedicated to appreciate our mothers, fathers, birthdays, and holidays.  These days draw attention to things that matter.  “The Sound of Freedom” draws attention to an issue that matters to all of us, the trafficking of children, especially for sexual exploitation.  The movie will help raise awareness in the modality of entertainment.  It isn’t an easy issue, but it needs to be a conversation so that change will take place worldwide.  

There are currently over 5.25 million children enslaved in child trafficking.  A large percentage of those children are being exploited sexually.  They are also being forced into hard labor which is dangerous.  This is a conversation that needs to be on the forefront until it is eradicated.  “The Sound of Freedom” is aimed to help do just that, get the conversation going among more people.  This helps raise awareness and raise funds to fight against traffickers.  Funds are also allocated to help eradicate the demand for child trafficking.  This takes the form of adjusting how people objectify other human beings and promoting increased legislation against human trafficking.  Funding is also used to actively find child trafficking rings, raid them, liberate children, and prosecute traffickers.

“The Sound of Freedom”

“The Sound of Freedom” features a star studded cast including Jim Caviezel, Mira Sorvino, Manny Perez, Bill Camp, Gerado Taracena, Eduardo Verástegui, and many more.  Click here for a full cast list on IMDB.  In preparation for his role Jim Caviezel shadowed operatives in the field.  During this experience Caviezel witnessed a child rescue operation in Latin America.

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